Pigment epithelium-derived factor negates oxidative stress in mouse oocytes

Luba Nemerovsky, Hadas Bar-Joseph, Anat Eldar-Boock, Irit Miller, Ido Ben-Ami, Ruth Shalgi-Harsina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Molecular changes, caused by various environmental factors, affect the quality and developmental potential of oocytes. Oxidative stress (OS) is a major factor involved in various gynecologic disorders and/or in aging. Recent studies suggest that elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) hamper oocyte quality and future embryonic development. Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a pleiotropic protein, known for its antiangiogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidative properties. Our previous findings demonstrate the antioxidative role of rPEDF in maintaining granulosa cell viability. In the current study, we examined the ability of PEDF to negate the adverse impact of OS on oocytes. Maturation rate of oocytes exposed to OS was significantly lower than that of control oocytes. The number of mtDNA copies in OS-exposed oocytes was significantly higher than in control oocytes (>3 times), whereas ATP concentration was significantly lower. Oocytes exposed to OS demonstrated impaired chromosome arrangement at the metaphase plate. PEDF significantly improved maturation rate of untreated OS-exposed oocytes. Moreover, mtDNA copy number, ATP concentration, and chromosome arrangement at the metaphase plate in rPEDF-treated OS-exposed oocytes were restored to the level of control oocytes. Our findings demonstrate that OS hampers the ability of oocytes to undergo proper in vitro maturation. The energetic balance of OS-exposed oocyte is characterized by excessive mtDNA replication and reduced ATP concentration; it hampers the ability of oocytes to perform high fidelity chromosome segregation. PEDF alleviates this damage, improves the rate of oocyte maturation, and preserves mtDNA level and ATP content, thus enabling oocytes to form proper metaphase plate and improve oocyte competence.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21637
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Health, State of Israel3‐15140
Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University


    • ATP
    • PEDF
    • oocyte maturation
    • oxidative stress


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